Kingsport school board approves disabilities plan, school calendar

Rick Wagner • Oct 17, 2019 at 3:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport leaders have approved a $16 million mandated plan to meet federal requirements for individuals with disabilities.

The Kingsport Board of Education voted recently to approve the school system’s Americans with Disabilities Act transition plan presented by Assistant Superintendent of Administration Andy True and City Attorney Mike Billingsley.

The joint city/school system plan, which so far includes no funding mechanism, would cost $14.85 million for the city’s needed ADA projects and $1,771,962 for the school system’s ADA projects.

The city’s plan is proposed to be budgeted over 15 years but could take up to 25 years if needed, and the school system’s plan is to be budgeted over 10 years but could take up to 15 years.

The bulk of the school system plan, $967,887, would upgrade playgrounds and facilities, with another $122,075 going to public access and $682,000 to capital. Billingsley said the school system is better prepared for the requirements. But he said that even websites have to be accessible and that sign language interpreters would be required at city or school system meetings if needed by someone attending. He said the city has a service contracted to do that.

The school board recently also voted 5-0 to adopt the recommended 2020-21 school calendar with one tweak: a fall teacher inservice date was moved to Oct. 19, at the board’s request, so it could combine with the fall break of Oct. 12-16 and give students an extra consecutive day out of school.

The calendar starts for students on Aug. 3, has a standard three-day Thanksgiving break followed by an end to the fall term on a half day on Dec. 18. School for students would resume on Jan. 5, with spring break set for March 29-April 2. The last day for students is a half day on May 19, and high school graduation is set for May 22.